We’ve all heard the: “What do you get when you cross a ____ with a ____” jokes before. These are the jokes that surround the funny-looking and sounding creature combinations we imagine in our minds.
But, what if those funny-looking creature combos actually existed in real life?
These are actually real-life animals:
1) What animal do you get when you cross a hedgehog and a turtle?
“The Beginning of the Armadillos,” by Rudyard Kipling tells a story about a hedgehog and a tortoise that turn themselves into armadillos when they teach one another their own unique talents. The hedgehog shows the tortoise how to curl up into a ball, and the tortoise shows the hedgehog how to swim. This strengthens the hedgehog’s spine and he develops the characteristic armor of the armadillo. Before they realize it, both of them become armadillos.
National Geographic explicates that the armadillo is actually closely related to both the anteater and the sloth. They vary in color and in size, from 6 inches up to 5 feet. There are 20 different varieties and they are all in Latin America except one. Armadillos got their name from their unique armor. They dig burrows and they can sleep as much as 16 hours per day. Unfortunately, they’re threatened by over-hunting and habitat loss. A lot of cultures in both of the Americas are hunters and eaters of armadillo flesh.
2) What animal do you get when you cross an armadillo and an anteater?
The pangolin, is a funny-looking, “spiny anteater.” It is a mammal whose entire body is covered in keratin scales. Like the hedgehog and armadillo, the pangolin can also roll up into a ball, and pangolins can spray pungent warnings. They are found in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa.
Pangolins are actually not related to anteaters or armadillo, yet the resemblances are undeniable. All 8 pangolin species are considered to be threatened, and are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.